Review: All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

Book Title: All The Truth That’s In Me
Author: Julie Berry
Publish Date: September 26th, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: YA/Historical/Mystery
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Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Barnes & NobleAmazon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

Disclaimer: I received this book from ARCycling.

Review:
This book is one of those books that could definitely have benefited from better publicity and less hype. A lot of fellow bloggers enjoyed this book but I did not.The writing was strange.It wasn’t in verse format though that’s what I thought it was for a long time. I’m not even sure that this particular prose has a specific name to it and if it does, could someone tell me?

This book was publicized as a YA Mystery which I was really excited about as I absolutely love YA Mysteries. Unfortunately this turned out to be much more of a historical YA book which really disappointed me.I don’t like most historical fiction so I was really bored during most of this book. 

I was hoping that Judith would be an intriguing character and that I would want to find out more about her, but that just didn’t happen.I didn’t find any of the characters compelling, though I did love that there were horses in it. Though now that I think about it, most historical fiction books do include horses.

Sometimes when a book is different, it’s good different, but not this one. I didn’t enjoy this one at all and I kept hoping that it would end soon and put me out of my misery.I think if it had been written in straightforward prose, the book could have been a lot better. The book was promising and I was so excited for it.However it fell flat for me and that is why, for many reasons, I have to give it 1 star.

Stacking the Shelves #16

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Hello everyone,hope you all had a great week filled with all sorts of bookish goodies. I got a few books from NetGalley. All three of them are books I am really excited to read. Not only that, but this week also signified my six month blog-o-versary. So yay me. I am so excited that I managed to keep up this blog for six months. I can only hope that I can do it for many more months.

Don’t forget to stop by Tynga’s Reviews to link up your Stacking The Shelves posts/vlogs. Don’t forget to check out the posts & vlogs of others to see what they got this week.

Bought

Received for Review
In Between by Jane Hoppen (e-galley from NetGalley)
Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill (e-galley from NetGalley)

Sekret (Sekret #1) by Lindsay Smith (e-galley from Netgalley)

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So let me know if you have read any of these and if you have, did you enjoy them. Also don’t forget to leave your STS links in the comments so I can stop by and see what you got. Hope everyone has an awesome week.

Review: Forever Innocent by Deanna Roy

Book Title: Forever Innocent
Author: Deanna Roy
Published Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Casey Shay Press
Genre: NA/Romance/Contemporary
Series: Book 1
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads: 
“Our baby died on prom night, and nothing was ever the same again.”

Corabelle doesn’t feel like any of the other college girls. On what should have been one of the happiest nights of her life, she and her boyfriend Gavin watched a nurse disconnect the ventilator from their seven-day-old baby. During the funeral two days later, Gavin walked out and never returned.

Since then, her life has been a spiral of disasters. The only thing that has helped is her ability to black out whenever the pain gets too hard to bear, a habit that has become an addiction.

When Gavin shows up in her astronomy class four years later, he is hell-bent on getting her back, insisting she forgive him. Corabelle knows she can’t resist the touch that fills the empty ache that has haunted her since he left. But if he learns what she has done, if he follows the trail back through her past, her secrets will destroy their love completely. And once again, she’ll lose the only person who always believed she was innocent.

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
This is a book that I will have to divide into parts that I really loved and parts that I really didn’t like much. The crazy part is those break down into practically half and half. Half of the book I loved and half of the book I really didn’t like.This book took me on a roller coaster. Thankfully I love roller coasters, but this was a brutal ride.

Let’s start with what I did love about the book. I loved the backstory of how long Gavin and Corabelle had known each other and how they had found themselves preparing to be teen parents to a baby. 

Reading about Finn’s short life just about unraveled me. It was heartbreaking and I loved knowing that the author had taken things from her personal life and threaded it into the book.Since the author had experienced the loss of a baby,she was able to bring a different tone to this book.A more personal and emotional tone.

On a personal note, when the book first started to mention that Finn had had something wrong with his heart, I got really curious. I was born with heart problems myself so I was curious to see if the author would handle the defect correctly or not. Well the options Gavin and Corabelle were given were correct but the statement that “heart defects are mostly genetic” drove me bananas because the truth is 95% of heart defects are considered to be flukes or random incidences. So that showed a lack of research on the author’s part and that really disappointed me.

I loved that Corabelle let Jenny into her life more and more as the book progressed. Seeing how closed off Corabelle had been at the beginning of the book, it showed a lot of emotional growth in Corabelle that she was willing to let Jenny in on the part of her life that included Finn.

Corabelle’s own journey of grief was amazing and beautiful to watch.She would always miss Finn and love him and wish he was here with her, but she was slowly coming out of the haze of grief. Something that had taken her four long years to do.She had spent 4 years pushing people away because she was afraid that she would get too close,too attached and then the person would leave or even die like Finn did.

Now onto the parts that I didn’t love so much. Corabelle and Gavin jumped into the sack way too soon. They had each changed in those 4 years they were apart and there wasn’t even a discussion about that. It was much too soon and that drove me nuts. Gavin’s behavior was also too crazy. He needed to back off when she told him to. Texting and calling and stopping by her home AND her place of work was not only being disrespectful, it was stalking. For crying out loud Gavin, leave her alone. I was absolutely livid that he wasn’t being respectful.

 What was worse, was that, despite her friends’ efforts to do what Corabelle wanted, the minute he finally got to see her again he started in with the “I know we can make it work” crap. Well I was just pissed off that he could be so sure of that when he didn’t know what she had done in those past 4 years and he didn’t even have the balls to be honest with her about what had done.

This book will be getting 3.5 stars. Parts of it I really loved, but the parts of it that included Gavin’s pushy-ness and Corabelle’s lack of restraint are forcing me to lower the rating.I am so glad that the book featured a baby with a heart defect, as there aren’t that many books that do. I just wish the one fact that had been in the book was correct.

Book Blogger Challenge-Week 7

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Hello everyone, to be honest I haven’t really felt like doing this one this week but I knew that if I didn’t do this one, this week, I’d have to double up next week, which was not an appealing thought. So this week’s edition of the Book Blogger Challenge comes to you both grudgingly but also resignedly. This comes from Good Books & Good Wine.

Talk About Your Blogging Quirks

  • I start a review post right after I finish the book so I don’t forget things that I want to talk about. Unless I finish the book at like 3am or something.Then I wait until the next morning.
  • I’m slowly learning how to make my reviews longer without sounding verbose.
  • I struggle writing reviews much more with books that I loved as opposed to ones that I hated.
  • I’m learning to love using GIF’s in reviews. Especially ranty ones.
  • After I post a review on the blog, I immediately add my review to Goodreads and to Amazon.
  • I feel bad that I don’t comment much on other people’s blogs. Then I get it into my head that I must comment a lot in a short amount of time.
  • I am learning that I don’t have to post every day and that life will go on if I don’t post one day.
So tell me, what are your blogging quirks?

Book Blitz: Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters

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** For the first time ever, Tears of Tess is on sale!**
To celebrate the success of Tears of Tess, Pepper Winters has placed the international bestseller on sale for one week only.
If you haven’t read this dark romance yet now is a perfect time.
Was $3.99
Now: 0.99c
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Title: Tears of Tess
Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: New Adult Dark Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18134894-tears-of-tess?ac=1

Book Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI1azW2ydUo&noredirect=1

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Synopsis
“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.Then it all changed.I was sold.”

 Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility. For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world. But lusty paradise is shattered. Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror. Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold. Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?

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Buy the Book

  Amazon US – http://amzn.com/B00EV9LSJI  Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EV9LSJI 
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Excerpt

This was it. My new beginning. My new ending. I didn’t know what beheld my fate, but I sucked in a breath and stepped over the threshold. “Bon soir, esclave.”My eyes soared up to the first landing of a giant blue velvet staircase. Massive works of art hung like armament on gold gilded walls. A man in a grey chequered suit, with black shirt, silver tie, and slicked back hair watched me from the landing. His gaze unclothed me, terrified me. I stepped back, bumping against guard who didn’t let me go any further. He bent his head and whispered in my ear, his breath tickling my neck. “Say hello to your new master.”  

tot three sale

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About the Author

Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex. 😉She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. Her debut book Tears of Tess will be followed with Quintessentially Q. You didn’t think Q could stop so soon, did you? Her other two titles, Last Shadow and Broken Chance will be coming soon.  

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Giveaway
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Review: North Star by Cassandra Gunn

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Okay you guys, this review will be a little different. Several months ago a family friend asked me to read & review the story her 8th grade daughter chose to write for her 8th grade project. I immediately agreed to do it but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to it until recently.
Without further ado, here it is…
Book Title: North Star
Author: Cassandra Gunn
Genre: YA/Mystery
Synopsis:
15 year old Anne finds herself facing the pain and loneliness after the death of her parents.She is adopted by a wealthy couple that care about nothing other than power, and the feeling of neglect haunts her in her sleep. 
This story is about a girl, struggling to find courage as she seeks for the truth of a mystery that could unlock her past, all the while feeling out of place, and missing the acceptance of a true friend. At first Anne thinks there is no one standing by her side,but in the end she comes to realize there are many people who care for her,she just has yet to discover them.
Anne is faced with many challenges,builds unexpected friendships,learns how love can blind one’s judgement and discovers the light and darkness in all of us.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author.
Review:
Ahhh, I loved this story so much. Anne was a likable character who showed significant depth through the entire story.Her adoptive parents were a totally different story. They were awful human beings,made even worse when we learned what sort of dark secrets they were keeping from Anne regarding her parents.

Anne’s living the dream of being dressed in finery,but the truth is, this isn’t her. She’s not comfortable  in the array of finery that she is dressed in every single day. She longs for the days of ice skating with her birth mother prior to the accident.The descriptions of the different ice skating moves was great. I don’t know much about ice skating (except I can’t do it) so it was really great to see an author explain the ice skating terminology.

Daphne was a good friend to Anne at first but it almost felt as the friendship was conditional. Only and until Anne misbehaved at school was Daphne friends with her. Clarice start off as a bit of a witch,but once we got to know her, she didn’t seem as mean. Which was good because by that time,Anne needed a friend.

The secondary characters Francine, Sophia and James were all great in their own way.They each had some flaws but those flaws did not overrule their positive attributes.

The editing was fantastic. I was so excited to see that an 8th grade project could be edited so well.I have a feeling that the author is destined to be a writer as this story shows what she can do already.I will be giving this story 4 stars. It had great characters, great story flow and I loved the epilogue. The only thing I wish, is that it was longer.

Meet My Furbabies

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Hello everyone, nope no review today but after reading Molli’s post about her furbabies as well as Kara and Lynn’s post on their rescue animals, I decided to take some time to talk about my own furbabies. First of all,I want to introduce you to a very special cat who is no longer with us.

Here I am at five years old with a teeny tiny kitten that I named Molly. She was a present given to me by my grandmother’s 2nd husband who was more like a grandfather to me than my actual grandfather. I had just had serious, life-saving surgery and he got me this kitten as a present while I recovered.We lost her to Lymphoma shortly before my 18th birthday. Nine years later, I still miss her.

I have had cats in my home pretty much all of my life. I remember some of their names and what they looked like.

  • Tiger-Tiger striped female. She ran away to die at 19.
  • Pee-head- Gray fat cat who we found dead under the house.We believe she died of kidney failure.
  • Molly- Siamese female who we lost to Lymphoma.
  • Angel- All white cat except for a gray spot (or halo) between her ears and with one green eye and one blue eye.She died last October at age 19.
  • Eclipse- All black female cat who died 4 years ago due to her being overweight.She was 14.
  • Stevie-All gray female who we believe was carried off by a coyote 3.5 years ago.She was 13.
  • Fuzzy- Himylan female who died in her sleep.She was 12 years old.
Those are all the cats who have crossed over to the rainbow bridge in my life. They all meant something to me. But enough sadness. Let’s meet the 2 newest additions to my life. Prince and Tiffany.
Prince
Here he is on the very day we got him. Now the circumstances are definitely not ideal but I am so grateful we were able to give him a home. First of all the lady we got him from assured us up and down that she was a rescuer and that she just wanted to find a good home for him. She assured us that he was in perfect health and that he was 11 weeks old.
Now does he look like he’s 11 weeks old?
Yeah…No. However we were worried about what she’d do to him if we didn’t take him and so we did.We made an immediate appointment with the vet and was told that not only was he not 11 weeks old, the vet estimated he was 8 weeks old. The vet tech we had that day said he looked more like six weeks old. Then we were told he had yeast in his ears along with ear mites, worms in his stomach and worst of all,he tested weak positive for Feline Lukemia.
   
I was heartbroken.He was such a sweet baby and I hated the idea of him suffering.We decided to nurse him back to health and then retest him. When we retested him he still was showing a weak positive. The vet then said, we’d test him a 3rd time and if that test was also positive we’d treat him as if he had Feline Lukemia. Well as luck would have it,January 6th, 2012 we got the third and final test results back…
It was negative.
That was the best news we had ever heard.I just remember crying and cuddling him pretty much the entire day.Plans were then made to neuter him.He did wonderfully with that surgery and it really mellowed him out.Before then he would attack us for no reason…a lot.He still did it after he was fixed but it was no where near at the level it used to be.
Oh and one day I was sifting through the stuff that the lady we bought him from, gave us and I found a blue TICA slip which told me that she was not a “Bengal rescuer” but a backyard breeder as she had known EXACTLY who Prince’s parents were.
Right around Christmas of 2012, we started talking about getting another cat.We had gotten the approval from the landlord so we began looking.This time we went through a reputable breeder.I had lost the fight with my mom to get a shelter cat.Shortly after a cardiac procedure I had in February, we found the kitten we wanted.
Tiffany
When she came to live with us, she was pretty shy initially and she still is shy with those she doesn’t know really well. She is such a sweetheart and really the complete opposite of Prince.She is so healthy which is a great thing. She has bonded with me as I was the main person who was with her when she first came to live with us.
Yet she and Prince get along great. I was worried about how Prince would do with a new cat as he is pretty protective of the three of us who live in this house.
Clearly I didn’t need to worry. They get along just fine.
The naming of the cats was tough, both times. We picked names out of a hat for both cats. Prince was named after the musician and Tiffany was named after Jennifer Lawrence’s character in Silver Linings Playbook.
So tell me about your pets!

Stacking The Shelves #15

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Hello again everyone. Hope your week was full of lots of good books. Mine definitely was.Which is why I am so glad that it was also a slow book week.Only 3 books this week. 2 from NetGalley and one from a tour host for a book tour that I am participating in. I am behind in reading & reviewing as I decided to read a couple of the early 2014 releases already. Whooopsies. So nothing is really planned for this week on the blog so posts may be infrequent this week.
Be sure to stop by Tynga’s Reviews to link up your book haul posts and vlogs. Be sure to stop by other blogs to see what they added to their shelves this week.
Onto the fun stuff…The books!

Bought
Received for Review
The Plague by Lisa Hinley (e-galley from NetGalley)

Let Me Go by L.L. Akers (Received for my participation in a Blog Tour)

Dream Girl (Book #1) by S.J. Lomas (e-galley from NetGalley)

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So be sure to let me know if you’ve read these or if you want to.I’ll be interested to see how these turn out.

And because I want to and Christina has inspired me, I’ll be including pics of my adorable cats this week. I’ve been meaning to do it for weeks but I just never found a good part to put them in.
Here’s Prince. He’s a 2 year old Bengal.
This is Tiffany. This was taken shortly after she came to live with us at the beginning on May.She is a 8 month old Snow Bengal. 
This was them only a few days after they had met. Given Prince’s personality, we weren’t sure how he’d do with a new kitten in the house.He surprised us big time.
Well I will see you all next week for yet another edition of Stacking the Shelves. Until then, have an awesome week.

Review: Streaks of Blue by Jack Chaucer

Book Title: Streaks of Blue
Author: Jack Chaucer
Published Date: September 27th, 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
 Adam Upton and Thomas “Lee” Harvey are plotting the next big school massacre at their New Hampshire high school. Nicole Janicek, who knew Adam in elementary school, tries to reconnect with the damaged teen at the start of their senior year. But will Nicole’s attempt to befriend the would-be killer disrupt the plot and turn Adam’s life around before the clock strikes 12:14?

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
This one is going to be a very hard one to review. Mostly because I found the first 65% of it slow and boring but the last 35% more than made up for it.I did love that the author dedicated this book to the families of Sandy Hook and to be totally honest, this book brought back a lot of the memories from that day as a friend’s son was a student at that very school on that very day.It was hard for me to read this book at times.  

The book starts off with Nicole and her best friend Candace hiking and camping. That night Nicole has what initially seems to be just a dream. However Nicole quickly believes that this is no dream and that what she actually had is a vision. Despite the increase of school shootings over the last 2 decades I’m not sure I would have believed in this dream, vision whatever you want to call it as quickly as Nicole did. I think I would have taken a similar stance as Candace did.

Yet Nicole seems hell bent on befriending Adam Upton and she starts by driving his freshman brother, Brody, home. Now I don’t think I would have done that, but Nicole seems so insistent on seeing the good in people. Now I’m not knocking that, but she did seem a little naive at times, which was part of what bored me to pieces during the majority of the book.

Like I said previously though, the last 35% of the book was beautiful and it really brought out a whole lot of emotions in me.I would say I cried a good chunk of the last 35% of the book.

Where initially Nicole seemed like a do-gooder in a very obnoxious way,she grew to be a very strong, likable character which made me really happy.It was clear to me how much the Sandy Hook massacre had affected her and as weird as it sounds,that made me happy.I was happy she wasn’t a typical selfish teenager who only thought of herself.Now Adam’s character did the biggest change of everyone and it was so great to be able to witness the very strong character evolution in him.

The crazy part is that my absolute favorite part of the book had to do with the re-connection with her estranged father.Unless you’ve been estranged from your father for many years, you cannot understand how it can touch you to see a father reach out to his daughter.This was hands down one of the most emotional parts of any book I have ever read.

“I’m so proud of you Nikki. I’m so damn proud of my little girl” –Roger

This book is about redemption in so many ways and for several characters. For Adam, Adam’s father, Nicole’s father. This book could have easily been titled Redemption.I will be giving it 4 stars. The last 35% of the book completely turned my rating around and while I know some people may say that it was too little, too late, I will wholeheartedly disagree with them.

Book Blogger Challenge-Week 6

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Hello again everyone,I’m back for the sixth installment of the book blogger challenge.This comes from Good Books and Good Wine. I made it into a weekly thing instead of doing it daily. So check out my answer to this week’s question and tell me how book shopping has gone for you before and or after you started blogging.

Week 6- Describe How You Shop For Books
I really don’t have a specific way I shop for books. Before blogging I would just go to a bookstore and pick up something without knowing anything about it.I often didn’t even recognize the author’s name. Now I go to bookstores looking specifically for certain titles, often titles that my fellow bloggers have mentioned to me. I rarely ever shop blindly anymore.

I still shop on Amazon.Actually that’s where I buy the majority of my books. I do have bookstores nearby but Amazon is SO darn convenient.Yeah the waiting can be a real pain in my butt, but it is SO exciting to get a package in the mail.

So how do you shop for books?